Glasgow Youth Film Festival launches with Ponyo

Miyazaki preview attracts a sell-out crowd.

by Jennie Kermode

She's a goldfish princess. He's a five-year-old boy. What do they have in common? They both appear in Ponyo, the latest animation by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away), which opened today's Glasgow Youth Film Festival before a sell-out crowd.

We're just hoping it can be a success!" said Molly Aitken-Sheridan, one of the team of young people organising the event. "Last year we were just part of the main festival but this year we're a lot more independent."

The youth festival will run until the 15th of February, just three days before the launch of the main Glasgow Film Festival. Highlights include the Scottish premiere of The Scouting Book For Boys, with a special appearance by star Thomas Turgoose, and Journey Of The Childmen: The Mighty Boosh On Tour, which may also be attended by cast members. Skins writer Ben Schiffer will present a masterclass for budding young scriptwriters, and Joe Dempsie will be on hand to teach acting skills. There'll also be a special debate with Amnesty International, Diversity And Autonomi Films and Ethical TV about the importance of documentary filmmaking in defending human rights.

"That was awesome!" said one fan at the close of the Ponyo screening. Reactions were generally very positive - and there's lots more to look forward to yet.

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